So here’s the scary part: You go to a church or a wedding, you get on a matatu, or you go out to dinner or to a friend’s house – and everyone is happy and having fun and nobody is sick. But… somebody IS sick. They don’t know it, you don’t know it. There are no symptoms for days, even a week or more – they don’t know it but they have Coronavirus – and they are spreading it to everyone that is around them!
So now a week goes by and you start to feel bad – and you learn that others at the church or dinner or those that were at your friend’s house, are also feeling bad.
In the meantime, the week that you were fine, you were spreading the virus – and you had no idea! Do you see how so many people can become infected?
The devil of this virus is nobody knows if they have it, until it is too late – and they have already spread it to everyone they have been in contact with.
I believe Kenya is about one month behind the US. Today is April 1st – take a look at the graph above – on March 1st there were nearly zero deaths. Now, one month later on April 1st, there are nearly 5,000 deaths.
Let’s be honest. I lived in East Africa for 20 years – Somalia, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania – but all the while based out of Nairobi. I’m married to a Kenyan and I have a lot of family in Kenya. I know the way the healthcare system works in Kenya. It can be very good at some things, but it can also be very poor at other things. But I think we can agree that generally speaking, the health care system is not better than Italy, Spain or the US, as far as access to general health care.
I mention this because Italy, Spain and now the US are overwhelmed with Coronavirus cases – not enough masks or body protection for health care workers, not enough beds, not enough doctors and nurses, note enough ventilators… these are first-world countries that are swamped, over-run with patients. Doctors and nurses who do not have the proper protection are getting sick and dying. It’s a terrible failure by the governments to not be supplying the health care facilities with everything they need. But not just the governments, it’s a terrible failure by the PEOPLE to not follow the rules!
What is going to happen if this virus catches on in Kibera or Mathare Valley? You’ve got more than a million people living in a compact area with minimal medical resources. Kenya Please! DO NOT WAIT FOR YOUR INEPT POLITICIANS TO DO SOMETHING FOR YOU – Like we did in America! Our jackass President is STILL acting like this is no big deal because he doesn’t want our economy to collapse! TOO LATE! You have got to be ready! Take it upon yourself to spread the word that the virus is coming and to get ready – to everyone you know! This is not Doom-Saying – this is reality!
THIS IS YOUR CHANCE TO AVOID MUCH OF THIS – START NOW! You cannot blame the government if you are not taking the right steps now to avoid this terrible virus.
How to NOT overwhelm the hospitals: Follow the instructions below. The goal is for enough people to remain healthy that they can all be handled by the medical system. If you can remain healthy, the curve will stay below the “Health care system capacity” line – and people in hospitals will get proper care – doctors and nurses will stay healthy themselves, so they can take care of the sick. BUT IF YOU DO NOT HEED THIS WARNING – the curve goes above the capacity line and then, well, you’re screwed. SO START NOW and be smart! (click the image – it moves)
- Wash your hands frequently
Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water – for 20 seconds – it seems like a long time – but do it.
Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands. Most people touch their face, without realizing it, 2-3 times a minute. You touch something infected and then you rub your eye. You shake someone’s hand and then you itch your nose, or sit down to eat and your fingers are in or near your mouth… You are now infected. STOP and THINK about everything that you do – and wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds (sing Happy Birthday to yourself two times). Keeping hands clean is critical for you, and others.
- Maintain social distancing
Maintain at least 2 metres (6 feet) distance between yourself and anyone else – anyone – healthy or sick – stay away and don’t touch anything. Then wash your hands again, and again.
Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus, if the person coughing has the disease. Even if they do no cough or sneeze, they can touch something, breathe something – who knows? DON’T RISK IT! Act as if everyone has Coronavirus! Keep your distance!
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick. Mentioned above, but worth repeating.
- Practice respiratory hygiene
Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately. If you have a cold, stay home. If you have a cough from allergies, stay home. You do not need a reason to stay home other than Coronavirus. But if you have to be in public to shop, for instance, make sure to be conscious of everything and everyone.
Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
- If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early – get tested – stay away from everyone!
Stay home – isolate yourself from your family and friends – if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention – get tested.
Why? There’s only one way to know for sure whether you have Coronavirus. If you do, you need to be isolated – cut off completely from anyone. Not forever, but for a couple of weeks until you recover. You can easily get someone else sick.
Look! In the U.S. there were 5,894 cases of Coronavirus on March 17th – just TWO WEEKS later, the ‘Today’ in this image, which is March 31st, there were 184,183 cases of Coronavirus! Two weeks – an increase of 178,289 cases – that’s almost 13,000 cases a day! This is what is happening in this world – BE READY. I don’t mean to scare you, but you should be scared – and BE READY! Starting NOW!
This is really important. The fewer times you have to go outside to shop, the less you are risking getting the virus. So when you shop, shop for everything and more, so you do not have to shop again for a long time.
Make a list before you go. Buy substantial things that will last for a long time. The cheapest way to keep things in your house sterile and sanitized is bleach and water: Mix 1 part bleach to 9 parts of water – or about 1.5 milliliters to every liter of water – a quarter of a cup of bleach to a gallon of water. Something like that. The point is, bleach diluted with water is a good and cheap sanitizer. Use it.
Everyone is buying toilet paper… If you can find disposable gloves and masks – buy them.
Formula for kids, hydrating drinks for kids, cereals… Act like you cannot go shopping for a month and buy everything you need. Then go home, lock the doors, keep your phone charged because you’ll be on it every second of the day since you have nothing else to do – and quarantine! My wife, 14 year old daughter, and I have been doing this now for two and a half weeks and we’re going crazy… but we’re healthy!
I’ll try to keep this page updated occasionally. But really this was just a warning, a heads-up to my friends and family in Kenya, and the people of Africa – again, the Coronavirus is coming! Do what you can NOW to minimize it for yourselves, the ones you love, and the healthcare system in Kenya.
I was listening to the news on an app the other day and they were interviewing a doctor at a hospital in a small village upcountry. The doctor said very proudly, “Oh yes, we are very much prepared for the Coronavirus! Look, we have 8 beds ready for patients!” And I thought to myself, 8 BEDS!? Are you kidding me? It occurred to me that most people do not know how totally devastating this virus can be – will be.
If you have any questions or comments, email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Be smart and safe!
By the way, if you’ve read this far then I know you’re concerned: Matatus! I’m sorry… don’t go inside. I know, how else are you going to get from here to there? I understand. But YOU understand… if you are within 2 meters/6 feet of someone and they cough…